Re: Re: Thomas Street & James Street, Dublin!
from today’s Irish Times commercial property section:
Some questions immediately spring to mind:
Why would Digital Hub, a state agency tasked with creating a physical nucleus for the nebulous notion of a ‘knowledge economy’, want to dispose of the key central section of their flagship property holding on the south side of Thomas Street, . . . . . and advertise it as nothing more than a ”Prime Development Site” ?
Why would an outfit [presumably with access to professional advice] attempt to flog ‘a prime development site’ at this particular juncture, just as we seem to be in sight of the floor of the deepest property slump in history?
How and when exactly did Dublin City Council become partners in the Digital Hub?
They’ll probably try and present this as an opportunity for ‘development partners’ to come and share in the on-going dynamic success of Digital Hub, but it looks a lot more like the first quiet step in an exit strategy, a sign that the whole concept of a ‘Digital Hub’ is effectively over and that the agency itself is essentially folding it’s tent and slumping away. In the circumstances, is it appropriate to ask ourselves, what is the legacy of the ‘Digital Hub’?
Well I suppose we did accumulated a series of bizarre, grandiose and utterly inappropriate development schemes that will amuse and entertain architecture buffs for years to come, but at the same time we’ve witnessed the shameful deterioration [in state hands] of virtually all but one of the Digital Hub Thomas Street properties [several of them supposedly ‘Protected Structures’] that together make up this wonderfully varied and hugely valuable streetscape. Arguably, no street in Dublin is better placed than Thomas Street to illustrate the whole complex heritage of this city, the depth in the record of our built heritage, the drama and tragedy in our history.
Not working with the grain is where this all went wrong in the first instance. That has to be the lesson we take from this. Digital Hub could have been magnificent, it could have been a master class in urban regeneration injecting high-tech energy into a historic location with each gaining from the other in a synergy of renewal, but that wouldn’t have left room for all the blundering clueless gobshites that always seem to pop up at the controls in situations like this when golden opportunities seemed to be just about to present themselves.